Darragh O’Mahony gets underway with big victory in France

Posted on: March 2nd, 2019

Darragh O'Mahony Irish cyclist France

Irish cyclist Darragh O’Mahony took a big win in France today; a great start to his season there after trouble quickly set in last year. He is an established Irish international now having ridden the biggest U23 races in the world in the Irish jersey (Photo: Coraline Lemonnier)

 

Irish cyclist Darragh O’Mahony has taken a big win in France today; first since moving there just over 12 months ago.

The 21-year-old U23 international was best from a breakaway at the end of the Grand Prix Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët.

The National Elite-ranked event unfolded in the Manche department of Normandy in north-western France over 135km; some 12 laps of an undulating circuit.

O’Mahony’s CC Nogent-sur-Oise team rode aggressively throughout in instigating and covering moves.

And when the decisive six-man escape went clear, it was an unusual composition; three riders from O’Mahony’s team and three from rival outfit VC Rouen 76.

The aggression in the breakaway saw the escape whittled down to just four men in the closing kilometres.

And when it came down to a sprint from that group up the drag to the finish line, O’Mahony won it very convincingly, with no photo finish pictures required.

“It’s the first race I’ve won in France so it felt pretty good for sure,” he told stickybottle.

“It was more of a relief than anything because I’d come close too many times last year. I have a good winter put in; nothing insane but it all went to plan.”

However, O’Mahony said he was not getting carried away and he still had plenty of hard training and racing to do.

He is in France hoping to make the breakthrough to the professional ranks. And while he started well shortly after arriving last year, things went downhill quickly.

A heavy crash and a back injury conspired against him for most of the season. It means he pressed the reset button over the winter.

And he feels that starting out in France again this year is really his first proper season there.

He represented Ireland at the Tour de l’Avenir as well as the U23 Europeans and Worlds on the road for the past two seasons.

O’Mahony’s fellow U23 Irish international, and team mate in France, Conn McDunphy was also riding the same race today and was just inside the top twenty.

 

Sat, March 2: GP Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët

  1. Darragh O’Mahoney (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
  2. Matis Louvel (VC Rouen 76)
  3. Arnaud Pfrimmer (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
  4. Jean-Lou Watrelot (VC Rouen 76)
  5. Nicolas Garbet (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
  6. Maximilien Picoux (VC Rouen 76)
  7. Christopher Piry (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
  8. Clément Saint-Martin (VC Rouen 76)
  9. Sébastien Havot (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
  10. Anthony Macron (VC Rouen 76)
  11. Adrien Quinio (CC Nogent-sur-Oise)
  12. Enzo Anti (VC Rouen 76)

 

Not just a top bike rider; interviewed in French

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